Napkin on table with words Don't be afraid of change. It's going to happen anyway.

How to Take Charge of Managing Change

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” – Mary Engelbreit

Managing change can be really tough, especially when you are trying to juggle work, family, and personal issues all at once. Just when you think you are getting used to a routine, something in your schedule switches. Nobody really likes their day changed up. You wake up in the morning and have an agenda of all the things you want to accomplish. And life just happens.

It’s what you choose to do with your circumstance that makes the difference. The fact of the matter is that change is inevitable. Time marches on whether you are conscious of change or not. What you see around you only appears to be a constant in our lives, but in fact there are changes happening every moment.

Do you fear change?

Change is a funny thing. You may want to make an improvement in your life but something stops you dead in your tracks. It’s called “fear.” Fear can disguise itself in many ways, the biggest being a battle to see or do things in a new way. The key is that the desire to change far outweighs the need to continue the habit.

Napkin on table with words Don't be afraid of change. It's going to happen anyway.Change can happen in of two ways. First, you can make a decision to change a thought or behavior because something no longer works in your life. This is when you begin to have signs that you can’t ignore that something different has to happen. The more you become aware of something you want to change, you begin to see signs you can’t ignore.

The other reason people make changes are because they have to. In other words, you have only two choices: you change or know there are consequences about to happen if you don’t. It’s when you have ignored or pressed through all the warning signs that something wasn’t working.

Learn to dance with change rather than resist it.

How can a disaster actually be an opportunity? When you get tragic news, the first instinct is to fix it. Problems don’t always fit into a mold and have a clear cut solution. When a tragedy hits your flight or fight system kicks takes over and it’s difficult to see the issue clearly. Give yourself room to breathe and connect with those you trust. This can be a buffer to help you clearly see options for change

The harder you attach yourself and try to control the situation, the more difficult it is to see your answer. Your life may have just opened up for a new opportunity that may be bigger and better that before. Dancing with change rather than resisting it relieves stress and self-imposed pressure. Letting go and allowing the process of change to unfold can birth a new chance.

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts

Bracing for the worst to happen.

Years ago there was a popular book called “Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook.” Your mission was to out-survive your opponent. Many people embrace this philosophy, so a plan can be devised to deal with change in front of you. While this may work for some people, use caution in this approach. This can trigger worrying about what could happen. Instead, allow the fallout to clear before creating a path for change.

Taking charge and managing change allows you to feel empowered during transition. However, you can truly benefit from shifting how you look at the situation and getting the support to see you to the next level.

Napking with same old thinking is the same old results written on it

How to Take Charge of Your Mind Clutter

“Willingness to change is a strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while.” – Jack Welch

Spring is coming soon. And with some people, spring means cleaning closets and sweeping cobwebs out of your home. But does this annual spring cleaning ritual have to be limited to cleaning the garage or kitchen cupboard? Clutter can collect in your mind, too, causing stress. You can take charge and clear the mind clutter that gets in the way of your happiness.

There are stories you tell yourself that are just not true. These stories might have been given to you by important people in your life when you were a small child from a parent or teacher. Or maybe it was an experience you had later in life that has blocked you for creating a happier life. Regardless of where the stories came from, you could have beliefs that cause stress and block your happiness.

So let’s take a look at how to take charge of your mind clutter:

Discover Your Stories

What stories do you tell yourself that no longer serve you? Do you tell yourself things that are mean and wouldn’t dream of telling someone you love? Then you have found your story. If you say to yourself, “I can’t do it” or “I’m not good at it” then you have made your belief come true. Believe in yourself. Decide if it is a skill that can be learned with practice.

Napking with same old thinking is the same old results written on itExplore the benefits of keeping and getting rid of your self-limiting beliefs. Many times, these negative thoughts are like comfortable old slippers. You know you need a new pair but it’s easier to slip on the ones that your toes peek through. Writing in a journal can be a great way to see thought patterns you would like to change. Don’t become too stuck in where the thought came from. It can be a distraction from taking action in cleaning out your mind.

Acknowledge the Lie You Tell Yourself

Become aware of when you tell yourself the self-limiting story. These worn-out self-limiting thoughts can sneak in without you being aware of it. Sometimes, you might see how a belief is woven throughout the fabric of your day. For example, If you believe you are not good at communicating, then this could affect both your work and home life. Acknowledging the limiting belief is the first step in shifting your behavior.

Speak Your Truth

Sometimes there might be an element of truth in your belief. These limiting thought can have disclaimers attached, like always or never. Those extremes in a behavior are probably unlikely. Fear can stand in the way with excuses for why you can’t let that belief go.

Ask yourself, “What would my life look like if this thought wasn’t in my way?” What problems associated with this belief could actually be transformed? Get clear about the truth of your belief. Ask a trusted friend, coach, or counselor for feedback. This one tip could relieve enormous stress.

New Habits, New Beliefs

The best news is that you get to be in charge of how your beliefs are rewritten. Pick one belief you would like to de-clutter at a time. Overwhelming yourself with too many changes at once can be a recipe for failure. List what benefits you would receive from changing up just one behavior. Keep those with you in your wallet or smartphone to remember why you are de-cluttering your mind. Practice your newfound skill each day.

Be gentle on yourself during the change process. You didn’t learn how to play an instrument in one day. You practiced until you mastered the skill. Yes, you are going to play a sour note from time to time. Keep on track, take action and course correct as you move toward your goal.

Clean out the cobwebs and confront the stories that no longer serve you. Replace them with your truth of the real you by taking charge of your mind clutter. What one belief would you like to clean up? Let me know in the comments below!

When Self-Criticism Pushes You Beyond Your Limits

self-criticism, exhaustion, work from home, entrepreneur“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark

Self-criticism can happen without you even noticing it. Putting yourself down can be an unconscious habit that can undermine your success. It can also push you beyond your physical and mental limits. Negative thoughts and self-talk can twist how you see yourself accurately and how much of yourself you put into work.

The inner critic can really rear its ugly head when you’re tired and keep pushing yourself to get something done. The truth is there will always be something on your to do list. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you are not human. Driving yourself to succeed in business doesn’t mean you drive yourself into the ground.

Self-criticism can take the form of thinking people will find out you’re a fraud. It could sound like:

  • Someone will see through me and know I’m a fake.”
  • “If people knew who I really was they wouldn’t want to be around me”
  • “I’m such a loser. I’m never going to make money at this business”

Do you have clear self-perception?

Where did these thoughts come from? Maybe it was an ill word from your parents or some other important person. Self-criticism can happen so automatically and quickly. Catching these ill-thought and shifting to positive thinking is the key. Do whatever it takes to shift your thoughts: dance, sing, listen to a motivational speaker, do a mental gratitude list. It may seem like a battle at first but it will get easier. Remember, the one thing you can be in control of is your thoughts.

Get accurate in your thinking

Critical thoughts are venomous, cause distraction and keep you in fear for taking your next step. This can be the very time you are about to make a huge breakthrough when working on a project. Recognize it, shift your thinking and move forward. Suffering under the self-critic becomes a choice or unconscious habit. Using a journal can help you see how it is affecting your life. This might be the very moment you have been waiting for in your life and work.

Recognize you are one person, not a team of folks running your business. People that run their own business have a unique way of driving themselves beyond an eight hour day. You can easily tip over the edge of exhaustion and begin not to think clearly. Know your edge and listen to your body.

Self-examinations can be such a helpful tool. Know what make you tick. Discover your strengths and the traits you want to improve on. It’s all too easy to find those not so shiny behaviors to pick on. Always list the qualities you love about yourself, too. These are your truths and strengths, rather than someone else’s version. Guilt and shame related to your past can emerge, and forgiveness is the key.

As you grow personally, so will your life and business. Don’t allow self-criticisms to push you beyond your limits.

Image credit: logos / 123RF Stock Photo

How Procrastination Blocks Your Happiness

"Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday." – Napoleon Hill


Procrastination can be a block that interferes with your productivity, time and dreams. Many procrastinators say they work better under pressure. It’s that rush of adrenaline to finish a project and getting something done under the wire. There are an infinite number of things that could occupy your time other than getting that dreaded project done. But when it comes right down to it, putting off priorities is nothing but a habit.


Procrastination shows up in many forms at work. Distractions, intentional or not block you from getting things done. Email, Facebook, phone calls, texts can be only some of the distractions that get in your way of productivity. A problem with saying no and guarding your time can be another factor. Lastly, there are those added responsibilities when caring for others that leave you feeling there’s no time in the day for you. You feel nothing but drained, used up and just plain unhappy.

Putting off finishing a job has a price

Focusing on things other than work can hit your pocket book. Procrastination can hit your income, when you choose to do anything else but creating your next product or making important calls. When you stall working on an assignment, it seems like it’s taking forever to get it done. And, if fact it is. Never crossing a project off the list begins to create unnecessary stress on you. When you delay finishing a plan, it can be a total wet blanket on your passion and enthusiasm to get jobs finished. A big price procrastinators pay is having a block of time just for you. When you tell yourself that there isn’t enough time in the day for me, procrastination and distraction can be the culprits.

What it takes to get the job done

The bottom line is disciplined use of time is the secret to many people’s success- and stress reduction. Remember, the only thing you have control over in a sea of demands and work chaos are your thoughts. When you’re stressed, it is impossible to see your ability to feel in control of your mind due to chemical reactions in your body. It takes practice. But disarming the habit of procrastination can be the first step.

Break it down. Start by taking that one overwhelming project and divide it into smaller projects. Bite-size tasks can be a little easier to take on than that monstrous goal you’ve been putting off. The smaller steps can be put into those time slots that seem too short to start anything. Just chip away at that goal a little bit at a time. The key is action, not stagnation.

Practice the skill of focus.  Practice focusing on 15 minutes of pure drive toward our goal. Nothing is allowed to distract you, of course unless there is an emergency. Guard your time toward your project. Increase the amount of time to focus without interruption. Remember, the subconscious mind has a way of undermining you when focusing on a task

Keep positive. Visualize the outcome of the goal. If you can’t see the end result then focus on one step you can take towards the activity. If you fill your mind with doubt, then that same reservation will show up during your work.

Ditch the habit of procrastination. Practice these skills and learn to be the director of your own destiny and happiness.

Achieving Goals: Giving Up Is Not an Option

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.  ~Henry Ford

Most people set out to achieve a number of goals at the beginning of 2012.  It’s not uncommon to give up on New Year’s resolutions that you were so passionate about last January first. Loss of motivation when you are working toward a goal can be so easy when you get frustrated. It seems so much easier just to make an excuse and walk away.

There are reasons you give up on a goal:

  • You hit a point that you haven’t done something before
  • You just give up hope
  • You have lost sight of the reasons you wanted to change in the first place
  • You decide the goal isn’t what you want anymore

Giving up is not an option.

I had the honor of working with a patient I’ll call Buddy. Buddy had a serious head injury after accidentally falling into a moving grain bin. He survived but was in a coma for some time. He responded to very little around him, just mostly to pain. He was released from the hospital and sent to a nursing home where I worked as an occupational therapist. Buddy was in his thirties and had a very supportive wife. “I just want him to be happy and be able to come home,” she said. Sarah sat by his side every day, praying he would come out of his coma. He slowly began to respond to other sounds and smells as we worked with him in therapy.
One morning Buddy opened his eyes and his intense recovery started. He struggled to swallow and feed himself again. He worked to be able to get stronger just to sit on the edge of the bed. He smiled as he was able to comb his hair and start to put on a shirt again. He began to speak his first words.

These tasks were no small feat and are things we take for granted every day.

Watching Buddy meet his goals inspired me to look at my own dreams. Suddenly my excuses were nothing but weak. He motivated me to look inside my heart and see I had strength to move forward, too.

After three months, Buddy was ready to move to a rehabilitation center where he could progress faster. He made a goal that he would walk back into the nursing home to visit us again. I thought a lot about Buddy and kept in contact with his wife, Sarah. The nursing home staff was all rooting for him to return home.

One day, the unit charge nurse said there was someone here to see me. I went to the front lobby and walked out onto the porch. There was Buddy in the parking lot, walking with a cane to see us. We cheered and wept tears of joy that day. Buddy smiled and thanks us for helping him to get better. We thanked him for teaching us not to give up on something we wanted so much in our lives.

“Never, never, never, never give up.”-Winston Churchill

Buddy was an inspirational teacher in my life. He taught me that even if life looked impossible and I wanted to throw in the towel that it just wasn’t a choice. Failure is not a reason to stop working and give up hope.  Healing hurt and loss comes from taking action to get to a better place in life.

Who’s the Buddy in your life? There is most likely one or more people in your life that keep you inspired. Write down all the reasons that you can to hold onto them when you want to give up. Hold onto them and read them at the very moment you want to walk away from your dreams. Keep strong in your convictions and know giving up is not an option.

How to Stand Strong in Your Own Opinion

Opinions. Everyone’s got one about one subject or another. Political, religious or lifestyle choices often get the most press when it comes to opinions. Too often it’s easy to buy into what other people think of you. It’s becomes a really stressful life when you feel you believe other’ folks opinions of you.

As a child, you picked up the opinions of important people in your life. Parents, teachers and other influential people had opinions about you. At about age seven you formed your ability to reason and your world changed. But you were also filled with other people's beliefs about you as a human being. As you moved into your teen years, you began to challenge your identity and beliefs. This process is the beginning of shaping who you are and how you see the world.
So, how much do you buy into other people's opinions?

When I was in high school, I had many of the same teachers as my older brother and sister. Any opinions teachers had about them were judgment calls about my character. Sometimes that was a good thing and other times it was tough. I had a really difficult time with chemistry and really struggled to pass the subject. I knew I needed to finish this class to get into college.  Mom even hired a college professor to tutor me every week. During the last semester in my senior year, my high school chemistry teacher looked me straight in the eye and said. “You will never make anything of yourself.” I stood there, stunned at his comment and left the room. I cried all that evening, wondering how anyone could be so cruel.

Something happened inside of me that changed the course of my life. I knew deep down inside that his opinion was not true. I believed there was a huge world out there just waiting for me. I realized I didn't have to buy into his beliefs. I discovered I had my own opinions, not only about my abilities but how I saw the world.

My eyes opened and I saw a new path before me. I had a choice to get through the last couple of months of school or fail. I chose to succeed. I realized my only goal was to pass this course and go to college. It didn't matter what my teacher thought of me. What mattered how I had the choice of shaping my own destiny.

Here are some tips to stand strong in your own opinions and personally grow stronger:

Be objective. Stick to the facts of the situation. Take a deep breath and assess what is truth and what does not resonate with you. If there is some truth then you have the choice to step up, take charge to improve yourself. Remember, you have the choice to accept or reject an opinion.

Do the work. Someone’s opinion doesn't have to damage how you feel about yourself. It can be all too easy to wallow in self-pity, get confused and not do anything at all. Love yourself and step out of this trap. It’s far more stressful to stay stuck where you are than to take one step to heal.

Surround yourself with winners. Place people in your life that champion your efforts. These are folks that are trustworthy that will support you as well as be honest with you in tough situations. If you find yourself in relationships that wear you down reevaluate how much time to spend or if you want to continue the relationship at all.

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